Monday, May 9, 2011

Cheese Puffs filled with warm Bacon Mornay Sauce

Gruyère Puffs filled with Warm Bacon Mornay Sauce

As shared from the kitchen of Once Upon a Plate by Mari (
Inspired by Tyler Florence's Wayfare Tavern, San Francisco

The number of Gougeres this recipe yields will depend upon the size in which you form the batter. 1-Tablespoon size generally will produce about 2 dozen pieces.  I always half this recipe for my small family. Incidentally the Cheese Puffs are delicious, served warm on their own, without the Mornay filling.

Make and bake the Gougeres. (May be made one or two days ahead, providing they are stored in a perfectly airtight container.)

Cheese Gougeres 
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup whole milk
1 stick unsalted butter
pinch of kosher salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese (1 cup)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg (optional)
       Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Line 1 large or 2 smaller baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. In a medium saucepan, combine the water, milk, butter and salt and bring to a boil.  Once butter is fully melted dump in all the flour at once and stir it in with a wooden spoon until you have a smooth dough. Continue to stir over low heat until it dries out and pulls away from the pan in one mass - about 2-3 minutes.  Scrape the dough into a bowl, allow to cool slightly before beating the eggs into the dough with an electric hand mixer, or stand mixer with paddle attachment, one at a time.  Add the Gruyère cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Using 2 tablespoons (dipping in warm water as you go), or use a piping bag fitted with a 1/2 to 3/4-inch tip, place tablespoon-size mounds onto the baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown.  Immediately upon removing from oven pierce a small hole in the top of each with the tip of a small paring knife tip to allow steam to escape. This will also be the hole through which you will pipe the Mornay Sauce.

The puffs can be made up to 2 days before serving, providing they are stored in an airtight container at room temperature
Just prior to serving continue with the recipe and assembly:

For the Bacon Mornay Sauce

Prepare the garnishes for the sauce:
2 to 3 Tablespoons fresh chives, finely sliced

Cook the bacon:
4 strips bacon, cut into thin pieces, crosswise.
Fry over medium heat until almost crisp; don't over cook.
Drain and set aside for garnish.

Ingredients for the sauce:

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups warmed milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • pinch freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
  • 2 ounces grated cheese,  Gruyere, Parmesan, etc.


In a medium saucepan melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is pale yellow and foams up a bit, about 1 minute. Do not allow it to brown. Slowly whisk in the milk and continue to whisk until the sauce thickens and comes to a boil, about 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to a simmer and season with the salt, pepper and nutmeg. Allow to simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. At this point it is a bechamel sauce.
Next stir in the cheese and whisk until melted. Keep warm over very low heat. If the sauce seems too thick, thin with a little milk.  If made a few minutes ahead, butter a piece of parchment paper cut the same size as the surface area of the saucepan, butter the paper on one side and place buttered size down, directly on the sauce so it does not form a skin.
The sauce with cheese is Sauce Mornay. (Great over steamed vegetables.)

To continue, fill a piping bag with the warm sauce and, pipe some of the Sauce Mornay into each puff until it barely overflows. Sprinkle tops with a few bacon pieces, sprinkle with finely sliced chives and serve immediately while still warm. 

Recipe adapted from several of my cookbooks. 

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